Since founding a jerky company I have been confronted with the question many times over: “Isn’t beef bad for the environment?” While often couched in different metrics like water usage, carbon emission and methane off gassing - the general assumption among Americans today is that their favorite meat presents a major ethical problem.
Recognizing the potential for negative impact in cattle production is at the heart of our mission. At Meat N Nuts we know the conditions at some of our largest domestic feedlot operations are horrendous, harmful to the animals, and detrimental to our natural ecosystems. By confining cattle to close quarters, feedlot farms divert significant quantities of water, truck in massive amounts of feed, and often pool harmful and toxic liquid methane that can lead to ecological disaster. A dramatic majority of our domestic meat supply comes from operations described.
Even with all of these issues, beef in itself is NOT the problem, and at Meat N Nuts we are providing a solution to consumers by packaging an alternative to feedlot beef!
How is non-feedlot beef such an improvement? Simply put, cattle are one of nature’s most equipped machines for improving soil health and redistributing carbon from our atmosphere back to the soil. Providing a herd of cattle the space to roam openly also dissipates the effects of methane off gas, and potentially utilizing the demand for beef to improve soil health and sequester carbon will help our planet.
For those interested readers please consider picking up a copy of the recently published “Defending Beef” by Nicolette Hahn Niman, a vegetarian environmental lawyer turned cattle rancher through marriage to Niman Ranch, an exemplar of responsible animal husbandry and purveyor of high quality meat.
Hahn Niman takes approximately 250 pages to lay out in detail our worst fears and greatest hope. Strictly speaking, the book attempts to clear the name of “beef” as the baddest offender of agricultural detriment to our environment, and in doing so demonstrates both that the nature of our current crisis stems from human consumption.
Hahn Niman’s examination is not limited to environmental impacts alone - the author investigates both the changes in our national health dating back half a century before one-third of our calories were coming from fast food restaurants and a majority of our beef coming from feedlots. Hahn Niman, along with many other nutritionists, shows that an industrial system that incentivizes the size of the cattle and speed of maturation, and encourages the prevalence of antibiotics and steroids in achieving those results is dramatically less beneficial to the consumer. Grass fed and pasture meats raised on their ideal diet of grasses pass on vital nutrients to the consumer ranging from good fats to iron to crucial vitamins. Don’t just take our word for it! Read more by picking up your own copy of “Defending Beef”!
PS - Use promo code "DefendBeef" in our store for 10% off. Tag us in your next nature pic for 20% off and a jumprope!
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